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're accelerating in 2013. the first, when you speak of big themes, you cannot ignore the revolution in energy in this country. >> buy, buy, buy! >> we have so much of it, particularly so much natural gas, it will not be just 2013, 2012, but a multi-year game changer. while we're thrilled about the possible north american energy independence, and by the way, the american technology behind them, don't forget that, we need to ask, how can this theme make us money? i mean, this is "mad money," not mad energy sufficiency. who are the principal winners from years of ultra cheap natural gas to come? the answer, the chemical companies. the plastic makers. because they're the big beneficiaries of the remarkably low cost of natural gas related feed stock, what goes into plastic. and the best of the best, dow chemical, ppg, westlake, eastman, georgia gulf and liondel basin. they thrive on the cost advantage of two of my absolute favorite gals when it comes to making plastic, poly and ethel. at this moment, only dow chemicals has done much to capitalize on the cheap domestic energy. the company is spendi
who ran mid-american energy and was a potential successor to warren buffett. the securities and exchange commission deciding not to pursue enforcement action against four alleged insider-trading involving a company that he bought shares in that warren buffett eventually bought. they made a lot of money. i have reaction on fox business here coming of. and at one point called ashkhabad $30 an ounce. the after market it has pulled back just a bit, but let's get right to the floor. traders at the new york stock exchange, cme, and nymex. you're looking at technicals. 1465 for the s&p 500, but we have some pretty strong days. not all successively, but what do you make of this? >> is still looks like indices can push a little higher in the short term. my levels of between 1475 and 85. the dow has the potential to get to 13 does a 600 right up near its september highs. it's funny. if you look, nine of the ten sectors right now are actually i knew nine or higher week highs. the highest total since october. four of the ten major sectors at new yearly highs. financials, industrials, co
, export economy? the u.s. has become one of the world's largest energy producers, but while natural gas production has increased, it's been largely ignored as a domestic fuel. but could exporting it help fill up your tank? cramer talks with cheniere energy's ceo next. and later, smooth operator? spam maker hormel foods put another consumer brand on its plate today after it forked over $74 million to buy skippy peanut butter. could this layer another level of success to this story or will investors have an allergy? don't miss the ceo, all coming up on "mad money." >> don't miss a second of "mad money." follow @jimcramer on twitter. have a question? tweet cramer, #madtweets. send jim an e-mail or give us a call at 1-800-743-cnbc. miss something? head to >>> it's one of the great economic tragedies of our time. we have all this incredibly cheap, clean and abundant natural gas in this country yet it seems like nobody here wants to use the stuff. as long as it sells for less than 4 bucks per thousand cubic feet, nobody wants to drill for it. it's currently selling for $3 a
with this energy boom and things going on in housing and maybe manufacturing. we did see in this report some gains in construction. we saw gains in manufacturing. what's your sense? what do you make of this report? >> well, the construction and manufacturing, some was sandy related and some housing related. the only real bright spart was residential construction. that's where the real bang for the dollar is in terms of jobs. that's the place we need to see come back. we continue to see, though, some losses in educational employment at the state and local level and retirees in the postal sector. we have yet to see cutbacks in postal -- the budget for the post office so, that will be a bigger head wind down the road. but we are seeing retirees come out there. the public sector still a drag on the overall numbers. i also think it's important on the health care industry where the surprise on the upside was in nursing and in nursing homes, basically, people -- the 80 and over demographic are the fastest growing demographic today. so you're starting to see that filter through and the contour of the jobs
financial. the u.s. is poised for an economic renaissance with an energy boom and housing and manufacturing. we saw gains in construction and gains in manufacturing. what's your sense, ha do you make of this report? >> the construction and manufacturing. some of it was sandy related and housing market related. last month's construction report. the only real bright spot was residential construction. that's where the bang for the dollar is in terms of jobs, that's the place we need to see come back. we continue to see some losses in educational employment at the state and local level and retirees in the postal sector, we've yet to see the cutbacks in the budget for the u.s. post office, it will be a bigger headwind down the road. we're seeing retirees, so the public sector, still a drag on the overall numbers. the health care industry, the surprise on the upside was in nursing and nursing homes. people, the 80 and over demographic are the fastest-growing demographic today. the flip side of the report, where was the fiscal cliff fears it was in retail. we saw retail fires in december. retail w
specialulativees, very upbeat, positive energy. the markets are hitting new highs in a long time, dow, s & p, nasdaq, as we're reporting up 4%, 5%. so it's a nice start but we have to see what's going to happen the next couple of weeks with earnings coming out, but so far, so good for 2013. >> tom: absolutely, very early on the january barometer looks to be very poozative for folks. how goes january gets the rest of the year is how the barometer holds. stocks failed to get much of a push from the jobs report but prices continued trending higher. the s&p 500 stumbled right out of the gate today but found its footing mid-morning. prices marked time before taking another step higher in the last hour of trading, finishing up a half percent. but the gain was enough to have the index close at a post- recession high, this is a five year high for the s&p 500. trading volume eased a bit from yesterday's pace on the big board, 650 million shares. it remained steady at 1.7 billion on the nasdaq. nine of the ten major stock sectors registered gains. the financial, materials and energy sectors led the wa
strong week. i mean, everybody is using specialulativees very upbeat, positive energy. the markets are hitting new highs in a long time dow, s & p, nasdaq, as we're reporting up 4% 5%. so it's a nice start but we have to see what's going to happen the next couple of weeks with earnings coming out but so far, so good for 2013. >> tom: absolutely very early on the january barometer looks to be very poozative for folks. how goes january gets the rest of the year is how the barometer holds. stocks failed to get much of a push from the jobs report but prices continued trending higher. the s&p 500 stumbled right out of the gate today but found its footing mid-morning. prices marked time before taking another step higher in the last hour of trading, finishing up a half percent. but the gain was enough to have the index close at a post- recession high, this is a five year high for the s&p 500. trading volume eased a bit from yesterday's pace on the big board, 650 million shares. it remained steady at 1.7 billion on the nasdaq. nine of the ten major stock sectors registered gains. the finan
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after the energy industry. whether they can get that done or not. that's to be determined. but there's some real sector implications as to how we see this austerity measures coming together. >> good point. thanks, gentlemen. we appreciate it. we'll be watching the markets ahead of earnings for sure. >>> more than 250 retail executives rub elbows at the womens summit in new york. amazon shares hitting a record high. but a traditional retailer stock not doing so well today. courtney reagan has more on this story. over to you. >> thanks. retail in focus both in the markets today and here with the womens wear daily ceo summit. today the s&p index outperforms the bench mark. but shares of jcpenney falling more than 4% as ron johnson spoke here to a packed room. though it was close to media, we know the insiders were tweeting he spoke about lessons learned. both from the transition he's going through from retailer as well as former boss steve jobs. we don't now how the holiday turned out for jcpenney. one person we spoke to is very happy with how his merchandise performed at jcpenney. >> w
to happen. >> you know, dan, you basically agree that energy efficiency is a noble goal, but you also think it's okay to tax mileage on electric cars. generally you tax things you want to do less of. so you wouldn't tax electric cars. and you would more heavily tax the things that you want to consume less. and that is carbon. >> here's the thing. first we're strong supporters of investments that will help increase the number of electric cars on the road. that's a good thing. but at the same time our infrastructure is ailing. it's estimated that half of our roads need to be resurfaced or repaired. close to 1/3 of the interstate highway system is in sub standard condition that has economic costs. right now the gasoline tax doesn't pay for all the repairs that are needed. so we've got to raise revenue. and it's better to do it from the users of the roads including electric vehicles rather than from the general public. if you live in new york city or chicago and only ride the subway all the time, why should your tax dollars go to pay for roads that you don't use? that's why this -- go ahead. >>
entered into a definitive acquisition agreement. a deal worth $1.1 billion. energy capital plans to operate as a stand-alone business operation with the current management team remaining in place. global spending on electronic will rise this year. , and smart phones will account for 40% of all of that spending. that is the latest from the fox business network. giving you the power to prosper. the local we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. nothing. are you stealing our daughter'school supplies and taking them to work? no, was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. connell: president obama expected to nominate chuck hagel to be the next defense
energy. those two got upgrades. that is why you see up arrows. hess up for example, 1%. deutsche bank upgraded them to buy from hold. lori: thank you, nicole. we have new evidence sanctions against iran are starting to hurt even as the nation refuses to rein in its nuclear program. melissa: turns out flat rate is going up. what you need to know as the usps raises prices again. at a dry cleaner, we replaced people with a machine. what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. at legalzoom, we've created a better place to handle your legal needs. maybe you have questions about incorporating a business you'd like to start. or questions about protecting your family with a will or living trust. and you'd like to find the right attorney to help guide you along, aner any questions and offer advice. with an "a" rating from the better business bureau legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorn
up about three points right now. the sectors that are showing strength are staples, energy and technology. back to you. connell: thank you. dagen: the controversial topic of video games and nonviolence. so the government regulate this industry? connell: the chief executive officer of apple says china will some day be his company's biggest arc appeared we will talk or about that as well. speaking of going global, look at some of the currencies around the world. we will be right back. ♪ [ malennouncer ] at scottrade, we believe the more you know, the better you trade. so we have ongoing webinars and interactive learning, plus, in-branch seminars at over 500 locations, where our dedicated support teams help you know more so your money can do more. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our teams have the information you want when you need it. it's anothereason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. >> announcer: you never know when, but thieves can steal your identity and turn your life upside down. >> hi. >> hi. you know, i casave
is the dramatic cash flow. energy costs down in the united states, that matters. the saudi plan is finally kicking in. and, you know, this is a cash on hand story. they've really developed a situation where they've brought some labor costs down. they had a pension contribution. always difficult. $1.9 billion cash, they only have one piece of debt due in 2013. this is a much better story. again -- >> i want the bigger takeaways. i care about it, but i don't care that much. i want to care more about what it says -- >> i think that's a great point. the answer is, europe's not getting that much worse. you know, if you were a calculus guy, you would say the rate-to-rate exchange is greater. if we have a problem with the debt ceiling. china is straight up. what is klaus's view on china? he thinks the new regime came in and said, you know what, we've been way too tight, way too worried about inflation. let's put on the jets, infrastructure spend. what i think they're developing in china, and i candidly get this from klaas, it's a sewer situation. i know that sounds strange. but literally they've got to d
cents, energy bear, efy, outperforming today the leveraged etf makes a triple bearish bet on energy market, a trifecta if you like. sandra: a new report out from fannie mae giving a lift to two housing-related plays, sill yo and trillo. 40% of the people think home prices will go up in the new year. >>> earnings season about to kick off. we have an analyst from thomson reuters with three stocks, he said, ashley will beat. he has three stocks that he thinks will beat earnings estimates. they may surprise you. ashley: get a pen and paper. write them down. the college bowl season reaching its pique as noter -- peak as notre dame takes on alabama. would that be better or worse for business though? we'll investigate. sandra: we certainly will. first we'll take, tell you what drove the markets today with today's data download. stocks falling with all three major averages closing lower as investors get ready for tomorrow's start of fourth quarter earnings season, everybody. s&p index retreating from a five-year high to end in the red. utilities and energy was the day's worst-performing sec
hate it when you say that. but look, bonds offer very little value. i use lindco and lind energy as an example. versus some of the real estate investment trusts. medical and health care. there's a lot of bond alternatives. you don't have to be stopped. >> even a dividend yielder like j & j. >> j & j is so undervalued. stock up 7% to 8% last year? with a stroke of a pen they could get that stock to 80, just by breaking it up. put together by someone who, frankly, i know is revered, weldon. there's no reference here for it. >> what is the ten-year -- what is the yield on the ten-year have to get to before we decide that the great rotation is in the midst of happening from bonds to stocks? >> i would have told you when a dividend -- >> now? >> when we thought the tax was going to go to 40%, i would have said, you know, it goes up a half a percent, that's fine. but look, dividends were preserved. we never talk about how big that was, the dividend -- >> enormous. >> it's led to a lot of buying in the last few days. people said, oh, i've got to sell those stocks. even the worst ones ha
. an still is technology, a little bit in financial, materials and energy. >> tom: growth and optimism there from u.s. trust. it's chris hizy with us from new york. >> tom: in just a few weeks the debate over government spending cuts will heat up. the defense industry is one of those targeted, and today president obama nominated former rebublican senator chuck hagel as his next secretary of defense. hagel is a decorated vietnam veteran and former businessman. the president called him, "the leader our troops deserve." >> as a successful businessman he also knows that even as we make tough fiscal choices, we have to do so wisely, guided by our strategy, and keep our military the strongest fighting force the world has ever known. >> tom: hagel's not a shoe-in for the position. he's received criticism for his record on israel, iran, and gay rights. current defense secretary leon panetta says he will retire when his replacement is approved by the senate. >> tom: tonight we begin a new weekly series here on nbr. we partnered with some of the nation's top universities to bring you the best re
. all 10 of the major stock sectors were stronger. the financial sector led the gains, up 1.4%. energy was up 1%. and the telecommunications sector gained 0.8%. after the closing bell, the focus remains on finance. american express released its fourth quarter earnings, announcing them a week earlier than expected. earnings came in three cents per share better than expected. but the firm will cut 5,400 jobs, reducing its employee count by 8.5%. american express shares were up 0.9% ending the regular session just below a new 52 week high. and the stock continued rallying in extended hours trading, up another 1%. if that holds through tomorrow's opening bell, it would be a new 12 month high. other financial stocks moving today included morgan stanley, up 3.7%. it announced its own round of layoffs yesterday. asset manager legg mason gaining 3.2%. and bank of america was up 3.1%. it led the gainers for the dow. energy stocks were higher as oil prices continue to heat up. oil settled at $93.82 per barrel, this is a five month high. cell phone market nokia's fourth quarter earnings will be s
's turning. are there other sectors like energy other other places that you think are fun to be in a good position? >> you know, when i comes to things like energy and commodities, i like to look for the companies either that are able to get the stuff from here to there or are figuring out how to get away without using quite so much of it. the obvious energy names, i think that's pretty well done. although i can't comment to be an expert on the names in the sector. house sg on its way back. and then you may start wanting to look for, you know, who benefits in the second derivative from those -- from the strength we're going to see in the housing market. >> other key themes, yesterday we is spoke with byron lein who gave us a list of predictions. one of them was the energy sector who said because you're going to see so much more production, you could see a drop in oil to $70. >> that's the privilege of watching this on an airplane yesterday. i saw byron's interview. and i know he came off pass mystic. remember there are some powerful, marginal players in the energy market. we need energy p
. it is very hard to get there without destroying the economy. we are proposing a third bucket. it is energy. we have it more than anyone in the world now. we traded 1.75 million jobs in fracking natural gas alone. there is great opportunities for us to put people to work. we can bring cash to the federal government. this is the way to put it together. we have the ability to do it. the states are doing it. we have to open up some federal land. we have to get the permitting process right. we have to get people to understand this is being done in an environmentally friendly way. we have to go offshore, we have to go to alaska, we have to be, energy economy. connell: thoughts on jack lew. it is an important nomination. >> jack lew is an accomplished professional. he has been the head of omb twice. he has been the chief of the white house staff. my favorite is you work for the speaker of the house. he understands congress. we think jack is a guy you can work with. connell: no big concerns about anything in the past from him? >> no. jack is a tough though though she had her, but the bottom line i
and energy, not only for this year but the next three to five years out. i think financial services deserves also a close look as well with many healthy financial services companies and, of course, what they have done to de-leverage. would i say those three areas before i would look at and focus on with high marks towards energy and some telecom as well. information technology. >> all right, jeff? >> yeah. we like large-cap stocks and in particular we like technology materials and energy. in particular we're actually adding to international markets. we think the valuation is more attractive than the u.s. markets so we think europe is another place we can put money to work. >> gordon, do you see any areas not participating that are warning signs to you or that are opportunities where you can still get in at this point? >> well, one of the things that i've been looking for is a question of whether this whole business of austerity and cutting back is going to have such a detrimental effect that you won't see growth in things like materials and infrastructure overall. i haven't seen that so i th
. friday, a five-year high. know we don't have a lot of energy, but i'm not that worried about it right now. see a bigger drop before people got concerned. upside, boeing having a lot of problems. airlines, all up today. the numbers have been great. fares up and revenue trends stable and fuel prices are stable. we've got a potential deal out there with u.s. air, and -- and amr out there, so the important thing is good news for the airlines in general. all the jewelry companies having a great day. cignet great sales, most jewelry stores to the upside. telecoms on the weak side. pcs had very weak subscriber figures though that was during the trading day yesterday. a little strange about the fact that they are all down today. finally, guys, you were talking about whether or not we'll have good numbers on the earnings front and whether the weak earnings are baked. in doing the same thing again, guys. brought the numbers down really, really low. 3% growth in the 500 so far this quarter. down from 12%, 13%. they are going to beat these numbers once again and so the bulls will argue that once agai
call. we've been talking about the energy space and gotten tremendous pubback from many clients on the interest there, but it's generally one of the last cyclical areas investors rotate into. there's opportunity here between now and going into the middle of q2. >> we'll watch energy. thank you for that. make us some money. guys, thank you very much. see you soon. have a good weekend. >> appreciate that. >> notable ipos on next week's agenda as well and bob pisani has the lowdown on that angle. hey, bob. >> quiet recently, but next week we'll get a brand name. take a look at this, norwegian cruise lines, believe it or not, third biggest cruise operator in neckor america, going to be a $400 million deal. this will be a nice one to watch. it will be in the middle of next week. a lot of interest in master limited partnerships. three of them coming next week. they are back by physical assets that generate revenue. in fact, very nice dividend yields. take a look. sun coke energy, 8.25% yield here. next one here, take a look at cvr refining, petroleum refining operations in kansas and
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coming in. as you can see, less energy. in terms of sectors here. most major names with big moves up last week. energy financials for example, look at sectors. all modestly to the down side today. i think the important thing that's interesting here is that materials are weak here. dollar is down today. that normally helps metal stocks. as you can see, none of them are doing much. but reporting in the next couple of days. want to know, gold stocks having a tough day here. harmony had to shut down mines in south africa because of strikes going on there. gold stocks still not performing very well. we will have an expert on at 1:30 eastern time to talk about the outlook for gold in 2013. >> welcome, good to see you, let's focus on the earnings season kicking off. you wrote about it a little bit this morning on your note. is that a real concern right now? >> i think it is. they prepared us, kind of investors for a weak fourth quarter. they have been talking about it for a while so it shouldn't be too much after surprise. i think the surprise will be the extent of really how bad it'll be, right
with the electrical system on the aircraft. energy stocks notably weak, especially the big exploration and production companies even as oil prices are steady today. all three names in the red by a percentage drop, anyway, baker hughes, the worst performer now in the markets. now, money continues to flow out of utilities, and it's been that way, really, since the election back in november. look at these names here, the stock at 29.90. more than a 1% drop, and nrg and in the negative now as well as stocks on the radar in the final hour of trading. let's get to our floor show. we got traders standing by for you at the new york stock exchange, the cme group, and ben willis near the floor of the new york stock exchange. off session lows, the dow has been, but are we over relief rally, if you will, from the fiscal cliff? >> well, if you believe there was a relief rally, and, this yes, we're over it. it is a natural pullback of the weekly performance where we put on last week. this is again, reiterating, a buying opportunity for long term investors. buying a trade that works well when the market is under pr
of the day's other headlines. five stories, one minute. first up china is betting on solar energy. the country's top economic planning official says china plans to more than double solar capacity this year and to 10 gigawatts solar power capacity. >>> amazon is planning to open a one million square foot fulfillment center in new jersey. the new facility expected to open early next year and it will create hundreds of jobs. we need them. >>> target is pledging to match prices of select online rivals, sorry around the nation's second largest discounter, will match deals customers find on identical products all the time. i think that was year-round. ashley: it was year-round. sandra: gotcha. samsung expects record high fourth quarter profits. the company sate operating profit would be $8. billion and beating estimates up 89% from a year earlier. >>> anheuser-busch is promoting a new buyer at super bowl for the second year in a row. the beer giant pushing budweiser black crown plan. expected to be on sale nationwide january 21st [buzzer] ashley: you made it. sandra: ashley will try it
demand is growing, the oil price may act as a break in the world economy. the energy revolution will have a global impact in oil flows toward asia. and the global shift is underpinned by huge energy investments. we are going to be talking about u.s. energy. >> yeah -- exactly. we're also seeing reports about how u.s. oil import will be at the lowest in 25 years. there is a change afoot. >> i guess that's what the iea head is saying, asia is going to take more of the u.s. demand. >>> to earnings. yes, alcoa swung to a fourth quarter profit matching forecasts. results were helped by stabilizing raw aluminum prices. higher prices and cost cutting. revenues down 1.5% to $5.9 billion. that did beat estimates. alcoa is also slightly boosting its 2013 global demand forecast from 6.5% to 7%. kleinfeld says growth in china is coming back and europe is doing better than expected. the stock up 1.3% in after hours. in frankfurt, up 1.72%. join for the first hour, for the first time this year, charlie diebel. hello. good to see you. right. here we are. we've kicked off earnings season. what do you mak
it be steel companies, energy costs are down. southwest air, i never recommend airlines anywhere, but you see them going up. raw costs being down, natural gas staying low. really nice offset to what washington can do. by the way, norfolk southern. look at the transports. southwest air. you have the federal express. this stock is breaking out. that's an asian play. norfolk southern had just been the anchor. truckers are still problematic. but if you can see coal shipments going up, because it's an incredibly cold winter in china, you'll have some surprises in transports. >> energy, in terms of the key costs, going down potentially. maybe that answers the question of some who say, hey, margins have been so high for so long, we're not going to have significant revenue growth this year if we get a 2% gdp number. can we really expect margin of improvement this year, and what kind of multiple do these earnings deserve moving through 2013. >> wells fargo talking about georgia gold. when you hear new housing, listen up. housing is the story, other than what phil lebeau was talking about last week. au
energy -- >> look, we're at a moment where i don't think anybody who's got a mortgage, they know they're getting a good price. the ohio regionals are going to do better. that welgs is now a sale. look, wells could go to 33. if it had been to 32, it will go to 33. it ran to $35.40, and the group got ahead of itself. but remember, this is a temporary problem. you have millions of people coming on air every day saying, the fed's going to have to raise rates. if that's the case, wells fargo is your number one stock. >> meanwhile, is american express adding to what morgan stanley has done, what citi has done, and that is trimming their work force. in this case, you could probably argue by a more significant level, right? >> and for different reasons, yes. >> that's really the pressure from the digitization of the travel business as opposed to morgan stanley. the digits getting smaller and smaller in terms of the profit margins there. >> i was thinking, you know, i remember thinking taking trips with my father in the '70s, you couldn't travel around the world without american express travel
it was a turn in the housing market. it was cheap energy and an improvement in u.s. manufacturing. but nevertheless, i think you are seeing for fundamental reasons have pretty good strength in the u.s. >> well, that was jim's view. chris, what do you take away from the minutes yesterday? it had a big impact on the dollar, pushing benchmark yields higher, as well. i think we have to be contextualizing what comes out for minute statements compared with headlines. and i think that the real issue has been the fed has decided in the last six months to start actively talking about policy as part of the policy, if you like. it's the giving voice to what's going on. and we've heard a lot more from the fed about what it's anticipating doing in 2013/14. the idea that there's probably a relatively even balance, bear in mind we have new fed members coming in this year, there's a relatively even balance between people that think you should do more accommodate than not. it takes take away the weapons the fed was already working with until we saw the unemployment level coming down to the kind of
states, health care is something that our managers like. energy, more cyclical consumer discretionary leaning a little bit into a cyclical play. don't overshoot it but just lean too it. >> at the same time you guys are only looking for 1,500 on the s&p. we're at 1470 so between now and the end of the year. >> 0 point? >> looking for 30 more points on the s&p. >> coming into this year a lot of volatility is wrapped around that. saw that last year, a rally, pullback, rally, pullback and rally into the end of the year. high single sdajts reasonable expectations for someone having into this market, wrapped with a lot of volatility. get so much more, so much the better, but it will be a cheap ride in our opinion. >> we'll leave it there. gentlemen, thanks so much. great conversation. appreciate it. this market is gaining momentum as we approach the close. let's find out what's behind it from bob pisani. over to you, robert. >> you know what's important. put up the s&p 500, because we're about to close -- if we close at 1469 or so, five-year highs in the s&p, near historic highs, of course,
&p sectors in the green led by financials and energy as ashley just told you. rates meantime, here's a look at the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising to its highest level in eight weeks. freddie mac reporting 3.4% from 3.34%. the 15-year rate rose to 2.66%. and the number of americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits rising by 4,000 to a total of 371,000. prior week's total was revised lower by 5,,000, splitting hairs quite a bit on the weekly readings, but the bottom line we're still trending toward improvement. ashley: we are hoe humming along. we've got john brady in the pits of the cme, david flyer and jack ablin, chief investment officer of bmo o private bank. let's begin with john at the cme. i guess the story has been china gave the markets a nice boost with much better economic data. has that been the big story? >> it is, it's the number one story. but likewise, too, we saw a tightening back today of european sovereign yield spreads over in europe, italy, spain and portugal specifically. that helped boost overnight markets and, of course, economic data here was rela
energy boom we're just in the beginnings of. but washington politics are toxic and getting worse. the debt limit and the frustration will be harder to deal with than the fiscal cliff. as a consequence, the politics in the united states will create some downside. we're not talking about a recession, but numbers in the u.s. could be even better if it weren't for washington looking so dysfunctional. >> tom: that drag of dysfunction in politics. ian bremmer along with us. thank you. >> susie: a big management change at sears: c.e.o. lou d'ambrosio is stepping down in february after less than two years on the job. replacing him: the company's chairman, hedge fund manager eddie lampert. as ruben ramirez reports, lampert's priorities may take sears in a different direction. >> reporter: the revolving door in the c-suite at sears coe tinues. sears chairman eddie lampert will be the new c.e.o. of the company his hedge fund took over in 2005. appel associates president michael appel says whoever ends up running the company will need to have retail in their blood. >> at the end of the day,
proponent of energy reform. mexico has a lot of potential it is not tapping at present. >> tom: we mentioned the price performance that the exchange rate had, outperformed the united states, and you think it can still continue to build on those gains. >> i think the u.s. needs to be there for mexico to outperform. as long as the u.s. economy keeps growing, mexico should keep growing. >> tom: so it is really the united states helping to pull mexico up? >> and mexican labor costs, when you adjust for productivity have been held flat over the next decade. china has seen its labor costs escalate, and the two have pretty close to met. so mexico is much more competitive on a cost basis, and it is here. >> tom: just across the border. finally, that brings us to the united states. how does the u.s. look compared to the rest of the world? >> i think we are still looking okay if we can get past this budget. >> tom: you're less excited about america than you are about non-japan asia. >> i'm really excited about non-japan asia because they're coming back from a period of out and out weakness. but i'm re
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